FAQs for PEP
Yes, foreigners who arrive in Singapore under personalized employment visa have the highest possible chance to be qualified for a permanent residence. Being the privileged version of the Employment Pass, PEP is subject to higher demands such as the salary (at least 18,000 SGD), education and individual merits which act as a filter for the most valuable candidates. Despite the PEP is issued for the period of 3 years, the holder doesn’t need to wait until this period expires to initiate his/her PR application. This can be done much earlier (after a year of working in the country or so) on the assumption of being employed at the moment of application.
Personalised Pass is valid only during 3 years after which, in order to continue living and working in Singapore, the employee must either upgrade to permanent residence or choose another suitable visa (for example, the Employment Pass). Facts that the employee has worked a certain amount of years in Singapore and is employed at the moment of application are mandatory criteria for getting PR. As PEP allows its holder to interrupt the employment during the 3-year period and switch over to new employers, it is crucial that the foreigner consults a visa professional to strategize the best application time when all the requirements are met.
Yes, PEP holders are fully eligible to act as sponsors for their official spouses and children (younger than 21 years old) due to their high salary rate. They do not need to get a guarantee from a banker to be qualified. PEP holders must lodge an application for a Dependent’s Pass manually only, and the procedure takes up to 5 weeks.
After you submit the PEP application along with a set of supportive documents, the government needs up to 5 weeks to process your request. Ensure you provide sufficient documentary that verifies your education, employment history, feedbacks from your previous employment, and salary slips, tax statements, and bank account statements for the last 3 months. Unless your documents are in English, you should involve professional translation services. If the government finds your application satisfactory and approves your personalised visa, you will receive an approval letter at the address you provided in your application. After you get the letter, you have half a year to arrive in Singapore and get your pass card.
Rejections happen because the government finds your personal merits insufficient for getting the privileged personalised visa. But rejection doesn’t mean you miss your chance forever; you can win back the approval if you make a well-considered appeal. The applicant is given 3 months to appeal the MOM’s negative decision. Then the authorities will consider your appeal in 3 weeks.
The Ministry of Manpower usually explains the reason of rejection in the letter. If no, the expert agency that has perfectly tuned communication with the government can investigate into the reason and strategize a winning appeal. It is important to take the authorities’ recommendation into account and fill the “gaps” in your profile. If no new information is provided at the appeal, you can get the second rejection and probably lose your chance. In case you aren’t sure you would be able to fortify your profile with additional documents or add more weighty trumps to your profile, it’s better to involve an expert visa agency that is seasoned in profile building.
If you apply on your own using the service called EP Online, you can check the status of your application and the conditions of getting the PEP on this governmental source. If you entrust lodging your application and paperwork to an expert visa agency, you don’t have to worry as the consultants will keep you updated about your pass’ status and inform when additional documents are needed. Due to a well-tuned communication with the approving authorities, the agency is able to avert all possible problems and misunderstandings that often cause rejections.
If you lose or damage your PEP card, you are given 7 days to require a replacement card. You can do it online using the service EP Online. You will need to pay a fee for the lost card, which is bigger if you lose your card again. On the online service, you will find detailed explanations how and where you are to collect your replacement PEP card. Usually, 4 working days are enough to produce a new card. If you occasionally find your old lost card, you must return it to authorities right away.If you were robbed and your card was stolen, please contact police to enable them to address the issue. If you lose your card while being abroad, to secure your right to enter Singapore, you must get the Embarkation card for visitors when you arrive in the country.
If you have worked under your PEP for 183 days and more during the previous fiscal year, your income is subject to personal income tax that is 15% for foreigners. As PEP holders are allowed to stay unemployed no more than during 6 months, their income is likely to be taxed. You should involve a tax consultation if you have doubts. Singapore taxes only incomes earned inside the country. Foreigners cannot expect getting personal tax reliefs.
If you fail to find a work in Singapore and stay unemployed during more than 6 months, your PEP must be cancelled without a right of being reinstated. You can do it using a service EP Online. The procedure is immediate, and you must return your PEP card to authorities in 7 days. But this, however, doesn’t mean you must leave the country right away. You can get up to 30 days of stay in Singapore if during the cancelation you process a Short-term visit pass (using EP Online). Moreover, you are allowed to get another suitable employment visa and stay in Singapore for work provided that you manage to find a job in this 30-day period. Please take into account that EP is a visa connected to a specific employer so you must get the offer first.
Personalised Employment Pass is VIP version of EP designed for the top-tier overseas professionals and directors. The basic difference between them lies in the freedom and flexibility the “individual” PEP provides: its holders aren’t tied to any company and can change employers without need to process a new working pass every time. Moreover, the foreigner can arrive in the country before landing a job, and even remain unemployed during 6 months a year. PEP is a more winning option for high-paid professionals who prefer to stay independent while getting all perks of a new career field.Another difference lies in these passes’ duration and renewability. The privileged PEP gives its holder only 3 years in Singapore without a chance of renewal while EP is issued for a smaller period (2 years maximum), but can be renewable the unlimited number of times (under certain requirements).All requirements are similar for both PEP and EP except the salary benchmark. It is much higher for PEP (18,000 SGD) than for EP (3,300 SGD); however, if you upgrade to PEP from the P1 class of EP, the benchmark is lower – 12,000 SGD.
Both PEP and Permanent residence give a foreigner freedom to work in Singapore without being tied to a specific company. But PEP gives this freedom only for 3 years while permanent residence fries you permanently. Both visas boost your chances for employment because the hiring company doesn’t have to bother with applying for a visa for you.PEP is better for high-paid professionals with impressive personal merits and working background who wouldn’t like to compromise their freedom and set limits for their professional growth. It better fits people who either don’t have far-seeing plans concerning Singapore (they expect to use his work permit as a boost for their career and then they plan to switch over to something else) or the opposite – plan to use their chance for permanent residence to prolong their stay in Singapore for unlimited period. As PEP isn’t renewable (its validity is limited to 3 years only), it exposes you to a choice: whether you see it as something temporary or as a ladder for PR.If you are ready to settle down in Singapore for a much longer period of time, it’s wiser to pursue PR as sooner as possible to free yourself from any possible tensions. It is possible to get qualified for PR holding any kind of employment visa, but PEP and EP give the best chance and shorten the period you have to wait before applying.
If you have any other questions that aren’t covered in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact our expert team. You can always book our competent assessment for free.
PEP Holders are freed from the headache of processing new work passes each time they change the employer, but despite they are “free”, they still have to keep the government informed about any change that happen to them (a change of employer, personal details, or physical address in Singapore).
If you move to a new accommodation, you must inform the authorities no later than 2 weeks after your move. You can do it using your account in the service EP Online; it takes a couple of minutes to make the change. If you don’t do it, you may be fined.